You’ve probably heard the buzz about coding in the classroom, and you may even have thought about integrating it into your classroom, but just where do you begin? In this post I will run through a few of the most popular online services that are designed to help you and your students get up and coding in no time at all.
1. Scratch and Tynker – One of the best introductions to coding can be had with either Scratch or Tynker. Both are free. Both give you the building blocks of creating code in a visual, sandbox environment. Scratch is a project that came from MIT. It used to be a program you had to download to use, but it can now be utilized completely online. Tynker is an offshoot of Scratch. It looks and works in a very similar way, but has a few more teacher management controls. Use Scratch or Tynker with elementary students and beyond.
5. CodeHS – Aimed at Middle and High School students, CodeHS is inspired by Stanford University’s Introduction to Computer Science class. It has a step-by-step curriculum for schools to follow with videos, example code, and programming exercises. It is based around game design, so it helps keep the interest levels high with students.
6. Alice – Created at Carnegie Mellon University, Alice is a 3D programming environment that lets students create an animation to tell a story, play a game, or create a video for the web. It’s drag and drop interface is designed to mirror standard programming operations found in the likes of Java, C++ and C#. Alice is a program that has to be downloaded and installed on a computer, but it is available for Mac, PC and Linux.
7. TouchDevelop – Microsoft is throwing its own hat into the coding arena with TouchDevelop, an HTML5 based coding editor that lets you create apps on a PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows Phones. It even works offline! There are shades of Scratch to TouchDevelop, but the tutorials are easy to follow, and the emphasis on touch enabled mobile apps as your end product is a somewhat unique offering among this crowd.
What about iPad Coding Apps?
Interested in coding on the iPad? You can. There are an abundance of coding apps for the iPad that can be used to teach the basics of computer programming. You can see many of these in My BIG List of iPad Coding Apps for Kids.